Stakeholders in the importation sector have continued to be rattled by the high cost of moving imported goods to other parts of the country.
Manufacturers and operators of logistics have linked the exorbitant cost of movement of goods at the ports to the high cost of goods in the country, especially imported vehicles and consumables.
According to an investigation, it costs around N1.6 million to transport a 40 feet container from Lagos to Kano from the previous N900, 000. The same 40 feet container costs N1.2 million to move to Abuja from the N800, 000 that was previously charged.
A logistics expert, Alhaji Mohammed Danlami, described as “a nightmare”, the process of transporting containers and goods within and outside Lagos from the TinCan Port, in Apapa, Lagos.
Truck hirers now pay at least N800, 000 per truck for intra-city haulage while inter-state cargo movement costs between N1.5 million and N2 million, depending on the location.
Confirming these findings, Alhaji Danlami said it costs about N180, 000 to N200, 000 to move a single vehicle out of the Port to Abuja or Kano.
He said in addition to the bad roads leading to the port, there are tankers and trucks parked by both sides of the road, narrowing it and causing heavy traffic. He said it takes a minimum of five days for a truck driver to gain access to the port or for someone to move a vehicle out of the port due to the gridlock and the slow security checks involved.
The Managing Director of Mardi Maritime Services Limited, Bello Jada Hamidu, said despite the presidential task force, the situation is getting worse. Hamidu said: “The situation at Tincan Port is the worst.
To get to the port, We spend between seven and 14 days on the queue. He added that to deliver a 40 feet container within Lagos currently costs around N600, 000 to N700, 000.
The National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr. Increase Uche, said aside from the review in foreign exchange, a whole lot of other factors also contribute to the high cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports. He noted that the lockdown occasioned by COVID 19 brought its own pressure on the cost of doing business.